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Dubai Cricket Council’s richest event unveiled

Superstars T20 tournament to be contested by 16 top teams from Thursday

Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Cricket Council’s (DCC) richest tournament — the SuperStars T20 — will begin on Thursday, with 31 matches scheduled to be held in the month-long event at the Fairground Oval.

With prize money of Dh60,000 and a Kia Picanto Car as reward for the man of the series, this tournament has attracted the UAE’s 16 top domestic teams. It was launched by the DCC at a colourful ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Monday evening in the presence of Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) officials, sponsors, team captains and owners.

DCC Secretary Mohammad Lokhandwala told Gulf News: “We decided to stage a high-profile tournament with excellent prize money and even an unprecedented prize of a car as an award for the man of the series to lift the profile of DCC tournaments. Though we haven’t got a title sponsor, we are staging this event bearing all the costs to set a new landmark in the history of our council’s tournaments.”

The DCC has taken a leaf out of the Kerala Premier League’s (KPL) book by offering such a prize fund. The KPL, which has established itself as the UAE’s best tournament, offers prize money of Dh185,000.

“We want to be the second best tournament after KPL, which has been held for the last two years under the auspices of the DCC. I appeal to all business houses to come forward and support such tournaments by becoming title sponsors and help us to give huge rewards and benefits to the cricketers and clubs,” Lokhandwala added.

The DCC, despite not having its own ground, has got many support sponsors for this event, including WebChannel, Yas Sports, Saibaa Restaurant, Danube, Radio Spice 105.4, ARY Digital, Zulekha Hospitals, and Sun Blast Organic Juices.

David East, the Chief Executive of the ECB, said: “Being a former first class cricketer, I have liked the concept of this tournament of encouraging the local talent and awarding them handsomely. I wish the DCC, players and teams a highly successful tournament.”

Abdul Azim Ansari, Director of SuperStars T20, thanked DCC for their support, saying: “We have taken a step in the right direction of trying to achieve our goal of providing one of the finest tournaments in the UAE. Our focus is on encouraging the UAE’s local talent and increasing public awareness and fan following for UAE’s domestic cricket.”

In the opening match, Phoenix Medicines Karachi Kings will meet Yogi Goan Cobras on Thursday from 7.30pm.